THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH
Her Doctrine and Morals
Fourth Sunday After Epiphany
30 January 2011
Friday, January 28, 2011
Jesus is asleep. In His human nature we find that Jesus slept just as we do, but in His divine nature we know that God never sleeps.
Our lives have many occasions when we are tempted to think that Jesus is asleep and does not know what is going on. When He seems to be the farthest from us, our crosses and burdens are the heaviest. He is truly never far from us, we are only made to think or feel this way.
God is not unaware of our crosses and burdens. On the contrary He is very much aware of them, because He has either directly willed them for us or He has permitted them for us. Jesus was not unaware of the storm that was raging upon the sea as He slept. He as God called up that storm. The Apostles had seen many miracles upon land but they had not yet seen the power of God upon the sea. It was for this reason that God summoned this storm and just as quickly silenced it.
This miracle confirmed even more clearly that Jesus is God because all of creation obeys His word. (All that is except men who with their free wills often choose to rebel against Him.) With the increase of faith in the Apostles we begin to see the wisdom and goodness of Jesus as He slept in the boat. This apparent evil (the storm) was truly a real good for the Apostles because it ultimately increased their faith.
This storm also increased their humility because they as grown men and experts upon the water were forced to cry out for help as little children. In this humbled state we find that they were better receptive to the graces of God than they were before.
The same is true in our own lives. We are given crosses and trials by God for our own benefit. What seems to us to be great evils are most often, great goods. The storms in our lives have been put there for us by a loving God, Who only desires to lead us closer to Himself.
Rather than complain against God asking if He really sees and understands or questioning His motives, we must learn to be always grateful even if we do not comprehend. Our faith must override our fear and we must come to trust fully and completely in Jesus no matter how much it may hurt.
The crosses, the storms, the burdens, etc. are all given to us by God. He may allow evil men or evil spirits to become instruments in bringing these things to bear upon us, but ultimately it is God that has permitted it and He has only our best interest at heart. We read of Job who always laid the ultimate cause of his misery at the feet of God: “The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.”
When we understand the good evil men do for us we realize that we have become their debtors. We realize that it is necessary for scandals to arise and they are for the good of those who love God, but they are very detrimental to the ones who are the cause of them. “It would be better for that man had he not been born.” In this light we can see how Jesus and the saints prayed for those who persecuted them. The saints saw their executioners as great benefactors for them because the murderers were the means by which the saints merited and entered into heaven. And at the same time they had great pity and compassion upon them because they saw what these poor souls were doing -- damning themselves.
In all of our troubles, let us set aside our fears and worries, knowing full well that Jesus is not asleep. He is not far away. He only appears to us to be that way because it is necessary for us. Let us use every cross and tribulation as a spur to our faith so that we turn with ever more love and confidence as humble children calling out to their Heavenly Father. Let us search and call out to Him with greater earnestness and insistence. Let us be ever grateful rather than resentful for our crosses and burdens, recalling the joy of the Apostles to be found worthy to suffer these things for Christ.